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Division Dark Horses


towhatend

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Dark Horse - Not the main favored candidate. Someone somewhat unknown who exceeds expectations of all others in an event.

 

An appropriate definition from the always reliable and humorous urbandictionary.com in this thread we will discuss the dark horses of each division.

 

Lightweight - Evan Dunham - An underdog in his last two fights, Dunham truly experienced his coming out party at Fight Night 21 in January. He nearly tore off Escudero's arm in the process of keeping his undefeated record and put himself on the map.

 

Welterweight - Paulo Thiago - Yes his first round stoppage of Koscheck was one of the biggest upsets of 2009, but his last fight against Swick cemented Thiago as a contender to be reckoned with at 170. When you sport a 3-1 record in the UFC and Vegas odds only had you winning one of those fights, you're doing a helluva good job. With his sturdier and more defined frame, look for Thiago to have a breakout year in 2010.

 

Middleweight - Chael Sonnen - Okami would be in this spot if Sonnen hadn't demolished him at 104. Simply put, Sonnen Okamied Okami. He didn't give him room to breathe, he outworked him and he won a ridiculously impressive decision. He then managed to do the same thing to Marquardt, and quite frankly I'm still trying to adjust my jaw back to its normal height because Sonnen's performance dropped it several inches. Winning clear cut decisions in his last two fights in matches he was a 4-to-1 and 5-to-1 underdog in, respectfully, puts this potential number one contender in the dark horse spot at middleweight.

 

Light Heavyweight - Antonio Rogerio Nogueira - the hardest division to pick, I'm giving the spot to Lil Nog simply because a lot of American (read: UFC fanboys) have no clue who this guy is. If his destruction of Cane didn't prove it, most fighters at 205 trying get a title shot would be crazy to try and use this guy as a stepping stone. After all, why do you think he is fighting Griffin next? No one else wants this guy. He will be a handful for anyone in the division.

 

Heavyweight - Stephan Struve - so he got knocked out in his first fight by dos Santos (it happens) and won an arguably controversial decision against everyone's favorite fighter/forum poster, but in between the bookends of Struve's 3-1 UFC career are two insanely impressive submission victories. From bleeding like a stuffed pig and sinking in a gritty rear-naked at 99 to setting up a picture perfect triangle at 104 Struve is turning into a very well-rounded mix martial artist. With a win over Big Country he really makes a huge name for himself amongst the casual fan.

 

As usual comments and responses with your own opinions are welcome.

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lw: tyson griffin

ww: paulo thiago

mw:chael sonnen

lhw:ryan bader

hw:kimbo slice

 

What's really funny is that this was almost my list. Griffin, Bader and Slice all crossed my mind. Bader was honestly expected to win his last few fights so that threw him out immediately. Other two are super solid picks IMO.

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Ross Pearson would be my pick for the up and coming LW. But Evan meets the criteria as well.

 

Paulo definitely made his mark as a WW and is a force to be reckoned with. Same for Sonnen i guess. But there's not really anyone else in the MW to talk about right now.

 

As for LHW I would have picked Ryan Bader, but I have no objection with Nog lol

Bader's upcoming fight with Jardine will answer the question of where he stands in the division.

 

um.. I'm pretty sure everyone knows who Kimbo is lol

Struve is a good choice. He is young and improving very well. I can easily see him making a name for himself. But as far as competing with the top guys, IDK about that. Not right now anyway. But a loss to JDS is nothing to be ashamed of.

 

-buy the ticket. take the ride.

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I agree with the OP on Rog Nog. The guy is a monster. He's on a 6 fight winning streak. The dude has beaten some TOUGH guys. He's the real deal.

 

I personally wouldn't consider him a darkhorse because I have him top 5 LHWs in the world. But most UFC fans don't know who he is. Before 104 it was certainly Shogun.

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Dark Horse - Not the main favored candidate. Someone somewhat unknown who exceeds expectations of all others in an event.

 

An appropriate definition from the always reliable and humorous urbandictionary.com in this thread we will discuss the dark horses of each division.

 

Lightweight - Evan Dunham - An underdog in his last two fights' date=' Dunham truly experienced his coming out party at Fight Night 21 in January. He nearly tore off Escudero's arm in the process of keeping his undefeated record and put himself on the map.

 

[b']Welterweight[/b] - Paulo Thiago - Yes his first round stoppage of Koscheck was one of the biggest upsets of 2009, but his last fight against Swick cemented Thiago as a contender to be reckoned with at 170. When you sport a 3-1 record in the UFC and Vegas odds only had you winning one of those fights, you're doing a helluva good job. With his sturdier and more defined frame, look for Thiago to have a breakout year in 2010.

 

Middleweight - Chael Sonnen - Okami would be in this spot if Sonnen hadn't demolished him at 104. Simply put, Sonnen Okamied Okami. He didn't give him room to breathe, he outworked him and he won a ridiculously impressive decision. He then managed to do the same thing to Marquardt, and quite frankly I'm still trying to adjust my jaw back to its normal height because Sonnen's performance dropped it several inches. Winning clear cut decisions in his last two fights in matches he was a 4-to-1 and 5-to-1 underdog in, respectfully, puts this potential number one contender in the dark horse spot at middleweight.

 

Light Heavyweight - Antonio Rogerio Nogueira - the hardest division to pick, I'm giving the spot to Lil Nog simply because a lot of American (read: UFC fanboys) have no clue who this guy is. If his destruction of Cane didn't prove it, most fighters at 205 trying get a title shot would be crazy to try and use this guy as a stepping stone. After all, why do you think he is fighting Griffin next? No one else wants this guy. He will be a handful for anyone in the division.

 

Heavyweight - Stephan Struve - so he got knocked out in his first fight by dos Santos (it happens) and won an arguably controversial decision against everyone's favorite fighter/forum poster, but in between the bookends of Struve's 3-1 UFC career are two insanely impressive submission victories. From bleeding like a stuffed pig and sinking in a gritty rear-naked at 99 to setting up a picture perfect triangle at 104 Struve is turning into a very well-rounded mix martial artist. With a win over Big Country he really makes a huge name for himself amongst the casual fan.

 

As usual comments and responses with your own opinions are welcome.

 

Wow, really impressed by you analysis.. The bolding above is exactly what I said in a different thread. I think that there are a few changes I may make.

 

Welterweight - Trust me i'm on the Thiago bandwagon and think that he poses a legitemit threat towards GSP but i'd also add Rory MacDonald to the mix. At 20 yrs old he's 10-0 with 10 stoppages, those are soe sick stats.

 

Light Heavyweight - Although I think that Lil Nog poses a great threat to the champion, be it Shogun or Machida, I think that at 22 Jon Jones is going to be the champ within a year and a half and I think his reign could last for aWHILE. Not to mention the last gypsy (Dreamcatcher) if you will, in Gegard Mousasi. The guy is 28-2 at 24 yrs old and is now partially training with GSP.

 

Heavyweight - I like your pick in Stephan Struve and really do like him as a fighter but I think that if JDS can add some muscle to deal with the big wrestlers he could very well be the champ sometime soon.

 

Very insightful thread that for the most part agree with you on. Good on yah

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LW- Can I pick Sotiropoulos...is he still a dark horse. I think he's a huge threat to all the top guys in the 155 division. Cant wait to see how he does against Joe Daddy. If he's not considered a dark horse anymore...then i'd go with Pearson

 

WW-Thiago and Daley. I really want to see somebody test Daley's ground game or take down defense. I think the two of them should be matched up against each other. Thiago v. Daley is a fight i'd pay to see.

 

MW- I'd say Demian Maia since he's very one dimensional. If he keeps improving his boxing, he'd be a tough fight for anybody at 185. If he doesn't, he's good for a KO loss every couple fights mixed in with a nice submission victory.

 

LHW- Got to go with Bones Jones. I'm also very interested in Phil Davis' next fight. This guy could be a big threat to anyone at 205 just with his athleticism and strength. Standup looks a little shaky though

 

HW- BIG COUNTRY.. I'm really interested to see how long he can keep pulling off some W's. Excellent ground game and has KO power.

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lw - terry etim very dangerous very overlooked

ww - paulo thiago here comes the band wagon ive been raving on this site that hes number three behind gsp and fitch are people believing this yet?

mw- marquartd i can say know because believe people are doubting him now but they shouldnt he'll bounce right back

lhw - couture people are definetly doubting him but title shot soon

hw - dos santos have to shout him out hes the top hw prospect and people put him behind the rest of the class

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